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The Mind's Eye 

Volume 2 Number 2/3 


The Mind's Eye is a journal of review and comment 
published monthly during the college year 
at North Adams, Massachusetts 01247 

Business corporations with more resources 
than most national governments raise 
a novel problem of control 

Michael Haines 6 ON HUNTING 

A hunter explores himself 



October/November 1977 


W- Anthony Gengarelly 
Stephen A. Green 
R. Michael Haines 
Charles A. Mclsaac 
Thomas A. Mulkeen 


Charles A. Mclsaac 


3 Cape Cod's Water Defended 

4 J. Robert Oppenheimer 


A teacher tyrannizes the audience 
at the Ambassador Theatre 

Charles A. Mclsaac 7 In Brief 


Sarah Clarke 8 NEWSWEEK WATCH 


Charles A. Mclsaac 2 The Editor's File 


8 Contributors 

The Mind' s Eye invites contributions. Your research, comment, 
reflections, reviews, poetry, fiction are welcome. 


The Editor's File 

by Charles A. Mclsaac 

Frank E. Armbruster ' s book Our Children's 
Crippled Future: How American Education 
Has Failed (Quadrangle, 197 7), which was 
briefly mentioned in September's Mind ' s 
Eye as a back-to- tradition treatise, got 
itself roundly condemned in the Massachu- 
setts Teacher (September/October) for 
almost every conceivable offense. The 
reviewer, George Abbott White, has no good 
words for it, granting it at best an 
opprobrious kind of consistency in its 
"rhetorical overkill, the casual regard 
for facts and their context, the perverse 
mythmaking, and the feeble attempts at 
scholarship." Strong words. White picks 
out for special attention Armbruster' s 
claim that students of the 1910s and 1930s 
did better than their modern counterparts 
in reading and other basic skills, as 
reflected in the results of standardized 
tests. Not so, says the reviewer; the 
author's interpretation of the data is 
defective. We who graduated from high 
school in the 1930s, and remember how is 
was, whisper amen. 

These strictures notwithstanding, it is 
nonetheless apparent that a problem 
exists. The growing unease with schooling 
and the spreading controversy about 
so-called "basics" in education are evi- 
dence of a fever which is destined to rage 
as long as society perceives its educa- 
tional product to be inferior. We are 
obviously engulfed in a cultural process 
of formidable dimensions, analysis of 
which would be presumptuous in this space. 
But we may ask some questions. 

What, in fact, are basics in this trans- 
mogrified world? Has society become so 
misshapen and bizarre that traditional 
values have no relevance? Can the social 
vehicle be, as it were, tin-knocked back 
into recognizable form and returned, with 
current inspection sticker, to the high 
road of Western culture? One fervently 
hopes so, for the map currently available 
to us shows no other route to human 

fulfillment. A plausible alternative to 
the Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian tradition 
does not present itself. 

But un-success with the young makes us 
wonder, as it does Armbruster and the 
legions for whom he speaks. The dismaying 
decline in SAT scores has resisted the 
scrutiny of numerous studies. Our chil- 
dren are off in the fields picking strange 
flowers. How do we get them back? By 
stern command? By accommodation? Neither 
works well in the end result. 

Is it conceivable that the accumulated 
weight of twenty-five centuries of learning 
is too much to bear? That its freight 
cannot be delivered? Does the knowledge/ 
information explosion make both teaching 
and learning feckless? Impossible on its 
face, we say; man cannot produce more 
information than he can comprehend. He 
can't? This is debatable. As we advance 
toward the end of the twentieth century, 
it has become so hard to absorb and organ- 
ize our augmented corpus of data that 
instruction is taxed nearly beyond profes- 
sional capacity to keep abreast, and the 
task of transmitting knowledge is compli- 
cated to the extent that simplification/ 
fragmentation techniques are seemingly 
unavoidable. This runs the risk of 
rupturing the skein of connected concepts 
which we view as the indispensable 
framework of Western civilization. 

Seeing it this way, educators have prop- 
erly been alarmed. Civilized man must 
maintain an organic relation to his roots; 
he cuts loose from them at his peril. 
Harvard College is currently leading the 
way back, through curriculum reform, to a 
cohesive core of knowledge to which every- 
one in the human family is a rightful 
heir. Encapsulated, the Harvard program 
proposes that an educated person entering 
society from college should be acquainted 
with the methods of the natural sciences, 
the main forms of analysis used in the 


social sciences, some of the important 
scholarly, literary, and artistic achieve- 
ments of the past, and the major religious 
and philosophical conceptions of man. 
Thus society, askew of late, will be re- 
emplaced on its legitimate foundation. 

This is well and good. But legitimacy is 
one thing in college, with its selected 
population, and quite another thing in the 
mass culture of the high school. There, 
it seems, are the greater problems: the 
shaping of the tender-tough, alienated 
young; the reduction of unbearable, 
community-derived tensions; the leading-on 
to philosophical detachment through 
liberal engagement — intimacy with history, 
understanding of science, the stirring of 
authentic social feeling, and admiration 
of art and literature as transcendent 
forces. How do we do this? Can it in 
fact be brought off, given the matrix from 
which high school students come? Radio, 
television, and motion pictures have 
endowed us with a postliterate generation, 
a new segment of society divorced in 
significant part from the printed word and 
hostile to the values we hold dear. 

For the blame for this, we must look to 
ourselves: we invented movies, radio, and 
TV, and the commercialism which sustains 
them. Our response is to provide educa- 
tion in the same format: audio and video. 
The bill for this is enormous, and we can- 
not pay it out of income gained from 
commercial messages beamed to a nation- 
wide consumer audience. 

We have, it seems, put ourselves in a 
bind . 


See the letter of John M. Kelly, Director 
of Public Health, Town of Barnstable, in 
the October Country Journal for a point- 
by-point refutation of William B. Walker's 
"The Poisoning of Cape Cod" (July Country 
Journal , reviewed in the September Mind ' s 
Ey_e) . Kelly cites studies, tests, and 
facts to discredit Walker. "None of these 
studies substantiate Mr. Walker's poorly 
researched, ill-advised propaganda," he 
writes. Country Journal disagrees. 



by Robert Bence 

The postindustrial age caught most Ameri- 
can students of politics by surprise. We 
had been busily creating our various 
models of political systems, with their 
pressure groups, electoral games, and in- 
tergovernmental relationships, and had 
not noticed how national and international 
politics were being shaped by economics. 
While examining the comparative merits of 
Jeffersonian rural republicanism and Ham- 
iltonian oligarchy, we ironically ignored 
the expansion of the most potentially 
important political force in this century 
— the development of the multinational 
corporations. Of course, we all knew 
corporations were powerful competitors for 
government rewards, but we were unaware of 
how they were beginning to be the primary 
force in shaping and defining the nature 
of political conflict. . 

By definition multinational corporations 
are very large profit-making enterprises 
that have resource extraction, production, 
and marketing operations in a multitude of 
nation-states. U.S. multinationals domi- 
nate the field, but European and Japanese 
companies try harder. Statistical compar- 
isons abound to astound us with the size 
and complexity of these global giants. 
For example, the wealth of General Motors 
equals that which is at the disposal of 
the French government, and Standard Oil of 
New Jersey (Exxon) has a fleet of ships 
which surpasses the size of the Russian 
merchant marine. 

If wealth is a measure of political power, 
multinationals have to be considered top 
potential political contenders in the 
international and national arenas. An- 
other index of political power is know- 
ledge, and again multinationals score 
well, since they command much, if not 
most, of the world's technological exper- 
tise. This power has had visible effects 
on the less developed nations and their 
unsophisticated political systems. Not 
all of these effects have been beneficial, 
as Richard Barnet and Ronald Muller docu- 

ment in their critical work an multina- 
tionals, Global Reach . The authors argue 
persuasively that multinationals are not 
the collective messiah of modern develop- 
ment, spreading the joys of technology and 
WeStern-style happiness, but instead 
become undeveloping institutions that take 
precious finance capital from the poor 
nations, destroy — through mechanization — 
more jobs than they create, and using the 
best of Western television ("I Love Lucy" 
reruns), sell Pepsi-Cola and Twinkles to 
people whose nutrition level is already 
dangerously low. The defenders of multi- 
nationals, like Lee Iacocca, president of 
Ford Motor Company, counter that their 
global operations are the only organized 
force for internationalism, and nation- 
states are the basic obstacle to the major 
impetus for world peace — the profit 
motive. Indeed, the case can effectively 
be made for the nonideological and inte- 
grative nature of multinationals. Gulf 
Oil is equally at home in Marxist Angola 
(where Cuban troops protect Gulf's wells) 
and the fascist Republic of South Africa. 
Recent U.S. business overtures to the 
Soviet Union lead one to ask, Is Mack 
Truck winning the Cold War? 

Certainly, multinationals have the tested 
ability to effect political allocation of 
resources in the economically desperate 
regimes of the Third World. But what is 
their level of political power in the land 
of the free and the home of the brave? 
Multinationals owe much of their growth to 
deliberate public policy decisions of many 
presidential administrations. Tax loop- 
holes, government underwriting of insur- 
ance against expropriation and other 
overseas risks, government-subsidized 
loans and credit for foreign trade and 
investment have made it possible and de- 
sirable for multinationals to spread into 
more and more countries. Beginning with 
the Marshall Plan, U.S. companies have 
been rewarded by the U.S. taxpayer (indi- 
rectly of course) for international expan- 
sion. To expand upon the wisdom of Calvin 
Coolidge, the business of America became 
the business of the world. The effects of 
this expansion are debatable, but recent 
testimony before the Senate Foreign Rela- 
tions Committee indicates that the U.S. 
may have lost 1,062,577 jobs between 1966 

and 197 3 due to overseas expansion of U.S. 
companies, and the huge amount of transfer 
capital in the hands of multinationals and 
their affiliated banks may be a primary 
cause of the continual U.S. balance-of- 
payments deficit. 

The most crucial influence of the multi- 
nationals on the U.S. political economy 
may be a very subtle one. The fewer and 
fewer multinationals who dominate more and 
more of the national and world economic 
systems are possibly too big for even the 
U.S. government to control. These com- 
panies have information, technology, and 
resource and marketing operations able to 
shape political priorities beyond the 
imagination of Adam Smith. So when Presi- 
dent Carter and James Schlesinger attenpt 
to solve the energy crisis, they must deal 
with the needs of the multinationals, who 
know how to research, explore, and 
develop. To not deal with the needs of 
these companies risks short term, and 
possibly long term, politico-economic 
chaos. In effect, the multinationals have 
defined the boundaries of political con- 
flict. Because of their economic power 
they cannot be seriously challenged. The 
anti-oil speeches of President Carter are 
rhetoric, or symbolic politics. The 
government which sponsored the Sherman 
Antitrust Act to curb monopolies is no 
longer the controller, but the controlled. 
The U.S. government finds itself in virtu- 
ally the same position as that of an 
underdeveloped country. The critical 
questions are, then, Is the power of the 
multinationals to define the scope of 
politics dangerous, and does this devel- 
opment require countervailing forces which 
at the present time do not exist? 

(For the sake of brevity I have not in- 
cluded my sources, but would be glad to 
share them with any interested readers.) 


Harold Green in "The Oppenheimer Case: 
A Study in the Abuse of Law" ( Bulletin of 
the Atomic Scientists , September) examines 
the guilt-by- association case which ban- 
ished from public life the great physicist 
who fathered the atomic bomb. 



by Ellen Schiff 


by Arnold Bartini 

I . Brahms 

Vermilion carpets 

plunging marble stairwells; 

pewter candelabras 

igniting symmetrical shadows 

in plush chambers. 

II. Sibelius 

Spruce tang permeating 
frozen white groves; 
cataracts crashing 

the awesome still 

of morning star. 

III. Tchaikovsky 
Roman candles 

firing incandescent vapor trails; 
ivy-clung castle walls 

going under 

tree shadows. 

IV. Stravinsky 

Inferno red sun, 

ablaze with itself 

victimizing tropical horizons; 
anemic spectres, 
dripping colorless blood 
in cancer death orgies. 

V. Vaughan Williams 

Stark clock tower 

laced against cloud ripples; 

ineffable peace 

of morning blue mist 
before the bird stir. 

MISS MARGARIDA'S WAY, a play written and 
directed by Roberto Athayde. Presented by 
the New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph 
Papp, producer. At the Ambassador 
Theatre, 215 W. 49th St., N.Y. 

It is difficult for anybody who has ever 
spent any amount of time in a classroom to 
remain untouched by Roberto Athayde 's Miss 
Margarida's Way , a New York Shakespeare 
Festival production which has just moved 
uptown to the Ambassador Theatre. The 
play is a tour de force for Estelle Par- 
sons who is virtually alone on stage for 
an hour and a half in the role of an 
eighth-grade teacher. Egomaniacal (she 
refers to herself mostly in the third per- 
son), dictatorial, sex-starved, foul- 
mouthed, and astonishingly ill-informed, 
Miss Margarida's sole qualification for 
classroom service is her indef atigability. 
Her muddled lessons tumble one upon the 
other, never finished, always ending up in 
biology, a speciality Miss Margarida 
claims she tutors privately, but refuses 
to pursue in class, "no matter how much 
you rotten punks want me to." The desul- 
tory sequence of lessons Is punctuated by 
an apparently endless supply of textbooks 
which the teacher extracts from a tiny 
cupboard drawer, only to strew them- about 
the schoolroom where they lie as oppres- 
sive litter reminiscent of Ionesco's 
teacups and chairs. 

The proliferation of dead matter is not 
the only parallel between the work of that 
master of absurd theatre and Athayde 1 s 
play. In his chilling one-acter, The 
Lesson , Ionesco demonstrates how a pro- 
fessor's overzealousness in converting his 
pupils to his own patterns of expression 
lead him to rape and murder those stu- 
dents. As that professor's philosophical 
maid observes, philology leads to calam- 
ity. Miss Margarida's Way also hammers 
home the point that she who controls the 
word controls society. "I'll write that 
on the board so you can memorize it," Miss 
Margarida says again and again, covering 
an enormous greenboard with a potpourri 


of misspellings and misinformation that, 
she never stops emphasizing, are all re- 
quired knowledge for the final exams. And 
without those final exams, her students 
will never, ever pass into high school; 
without them, they will be barred forever 
from college and from graduate school. 
"And Miss Margarida wants all of you to 
become doctors," she proclaims, leering at 
her charges. 

All of these obvious exaggerations might 
be passed off as stage conventions de- 
signed to amuse, were there a group of 
actors in the house to portray an appar- 
ently overcrowded class of eighth-graders. 
But there is only one daring young man, 
seated in the fifth row of the audience. 
Occasionally he dashes onto stage in re- 
sponse to the teacher's calls for a volun- 
teer. Once there, he runs into a barrage 
of humiliation and reproach which leaves 
him mute and limp. It is the actual audi- 
ence in the theatre which is pressed into 
functioning as Miss Margarida 's students. 
She threads her way through the balcony, 
making sure people are in their places; 
she insults latecomers exactly as an in- 
sensitive . teacher might; she addresses the 
audience precisely as if it were an ob- 
streperous crowd of not very bright gram- 
mar school kids. Indeed, Estelle Parsons 
makes her second act entrance through the 
lobby, angrily shooing theatregoers back 
to their seats and screaming recrimina- 
tions at those who have used the "recess" 
to decorate the stage greenboard with 
entirely appropriate graffiti. 

Plays often work by making their audiences 
draw on some shared historical awareness. 
This play uses that devise with unremit- 
ting, deadly aim. Shortly after Miss 
Margarida 's first entrance, she assures 
her students that she knows exactly how 
they feel. They are as inextricably 
trapped in that classroom as they are in 
life. "How many of you were consulted 
about your own birth?" she asks, reminding 
the spectator of his own years in school- 
rooms where, it seemed to him, everything 
of immediate interest and relevance was 
eclipsed by a colossus of information he 
was told he must master in the prescribed 
manner, and where he as individual became 
fodder in the mass to be processed through 

the grades. 

That the play reawakens those memories is 
eloquently demonstrated by the increasing 
enthusiasm with which the audience plays 
its role. Early in the first act, it 
dutifully parrots the preposterous anthem 
Miss Margarida teaches it; by the second 
act, having had a chance to vandalize the 
classroom during intermission, it dares to 
pelt her with jeers, spitballs, and paper 
airplanes . 

It Is not just New York audiences who re- 
spond to Miss Margarida' s Way. Since 
1971, the play has been produced fifty- 
five times in more than twenty languages. 
This scathing portrayal of compulsory edu- 
cation is the work of a young man who, at 
the age of twenty-one, had acquired enough 
of a career as a school dropout in his 
native Brazil, in France, and in the 
United States to speak out with authority 
and compelling conviction. It might be 
tempting to debate Roberto Athayde's per- 
ceptions. It would be foolhardy to 
ignore them. 

by Michael Haines 

For me, fall jLs the harvest season. There 
is something very comfortable in the cy- 
clical changes: I could never stand to 
live in California or Florida or Hawaii — 
I seem to need the security of the 
seasonal flow. 

And the part of the cycle I feel now is 
the harvesting mood. At this time of 
year, I usually lament that I didn't put 
in more garden. I savor the fall family 
outing to pick apples. I really miss the 
ripening corn and wheat fields of my na- 
tive Midwest, but I am compensated some- 
what by Sew England's spectacular foliage. 

However, the real harvest that stirs me 
at this time of year is the same one that 
excites my Brittany Spaniel. I watch him 
sniff the breeze that swirls the leaves 
around his doghouse, and I feel it, too. 
It's in our blood, I guess: by nature, 


I'm as much a hunter as he is. 

To my more civilized colleagues in the 
academy, my longing for the hunt must seem 
a strange and unbecoming barbarity. But I 
come from a subculture where hunting was 
as natural a harvesting activity as pick- 
ing corn, "combining" wheat, or butchering 
pigs. True, I have come a long way — geo- 
graphically and spiritually— from that 
Ohio farm country. And 1 agree with Wolfe 
that I can't go home. The New England 
woods, though, seem to draw me as natu- 
rally as the Ohio fields and fence rows 
once did. 

And it seems to me that it's more than 
just the hunting experiences of my youth 
that draws me. It is, I think, 
centuries — millenia, perhaps — of racial 
memory; it really is akin to the stirrings 
in my spaniel who was bred to be a hunter. 

One could argue that my longing is simply 
the result of enculturation or tradition. 
I began to hunt because my father did, his 
father took him, and I suppose my grand- 
father's father took him. The cycle con- 
tinues: I took my son hunting for the 
first time this" year. And so it goes. 

One could argue that hunting derives its 
importance from its role in history. Jose 
Ortega y Gasset, a twentieth-century Span- 
ish philosopher, in his essay "Meditations 
on Hunting," has noted that in the history 
of Western man two activities have domi- 
nated his leisure time — dancing and 
hunting. Something made hunting a prior- 
ity — possibly its value in keeping the 
warrior class in fighting condition. 
(NRA types still use this rather specious 
defense . } 

One could argue — and I think I would — that 
there really is "something in the blood," 
or to use more modern terminology, there 
is still in our genetic inheritance a rem- 
nant of the hunting instinct that once was 
a necessity for our very survival. Robert 
Ardrey's most recent book, The Hunting 
Hypothesis , argues eloquently and fairly 
convincingly that hunting was a crucial 
development in our evolution. 

Whatever the origin of my "primitive stir- 

rings" — whether a deeply ingrained part of 
my racial unconscious, a continuation of 
a long history of a popular leisure activ- 
ity, or simply the passing on of a family 
tradition — I feel those longings every 
year at this time. And I choose not to 
suppress those longings. The continuation 
of the hunting cycle is as satisfying and 
as comforting as the cycle of the sea- 
sons — and, I think, just as natural. 

In B rief 


"An arrow launched into the air to kill a 
foreign leader may well have fallen back 
to kill our own," writes Daniel Schorr in 
"The Assassins" ( New York Review of Books , 
October 13). Schorr, the former CBS 
correspondent, exhaustively reviews the 
evidence of CIA plots against Castro's 
life and 'the clues to a plot to assassin- 
ate John F. Kennedy. The facts appear to 
prove the CIA was heavily involved in 
efforts to dispose of Castro. But there 
is no proof of an overt Cuban conspiracy 
against the American president. Neverthe- 
less, Lee Harvey Oswald, deeply disaffect- 
ed by U.S. actions against Castro, may 
well have been sensitized by Castro's 
retaliatory protests into a kind of mental 
conspiracy against Kennedy. Schorr's 
theory: "The 'conspiracy," then, would 
have been a conspiracy of interlocking 
events — the incessant CIA plots to kill 
Castro, touching off a Castro warning, 
touching off something in the fevered 
mind of Lee Harvey Oswald." 


In "Lest We Forget: The Thoughts of Three 
Nobel Laureates on War and Peace" ( Bulle - 
tin of the Atomic Scientists , September) 
Philip Noel-Baker, Alfred Kastler, and 
Sean MacBride speculate on the future 
nuclear war. For each, the key to the 
real probabilities is the growth of arma- 
ments budgets in all nations, large and 
small. MacBride: "Another fantasy, 
against which we must be on guard, is the 
idea that responsible governments will 
never use nuclear energy for war purposes. 


They have used it once, so how can we sit 
back and expect that they will not use it 
in the future?" Kastler: "There is no 
need to be a great scholar or great 
prophet to see that the human race is 
rushing toward its suicide." Noel-Baker: 
"I am going to submit that there is really 
only one major problem before mankind, 
that is, to demilitarize the governments 
and societies of the world. We must 
release the resources wasted on what is 
now called defense, when there is no 
defense, to solve our other problems. 


Two articles on the celebrated Bakke case 
merit particular attention. Extended 
treatment is accorded in HcGeorge Bundy's 
"The Issue Before the Court: Who Gets 
Ahead in America?" ( Atlantic , November) . 
Says Bundy : "Ho one is arguing for the 
admission of the unqualified, and there is 
no finding in Bakke that such admissions 
have occurred. , . . The question is much 
more subtle: Among the qualified, how 
shall we choose?" Bundy's essay is 
important because it presents the position 
of the Ford Foundation — of which he is 
president — which has invested $150 million 
over ten years in support of affirmative 
action in undergraduate, graduate, and 
professional schools. 

A close sociolegal analysis by Ronald 
Dworkin, author of Taking Rights Seriously 
(Harvard, 1977), is offered in "Why Bakke 
Has No Case" in the New York Review of 
Books of November 10. From the accepted 
premise that American society is racially 
conscious — we have a history of slavery, 
repression, and prejudice — Dworkin devel- 
ops a brief for affirmative action. The 
dissolution of racism depends on our 
ability to integrate oppressed minorities 
into the professions by "allowing the fact 
of their race to count affirmatively as 
part of the case for admitting them." 
Bakke 's argument, that he should not be 
excluded from medical school because of 
his race alone, is rejected on the ground 
that there is no history of prejudice or 
contempt toward the white race to which 
Mr. Bakke belongs. 

— Charles A. Mclsaac 


Samples of Sarah Clarke's Newsweek Watch. 
The full version is at the library desk. 

"The Middle Class Poor." September 12, 
pp. 30-34. Trying to live up to the 
middle-class expectations of the '50s and 
'60s, many Americans have gone into debt. 

"A Sense of Mortality." September 26, 
pp. 74-78. The sudden death of poet 
Robert Lowell is marked by a sensitive, 
thoughtful obituary by Jack Kroll. 

"Sputnik Plus 20: The U.S. on Top." 
October 10, pp. 52-67. Moscow bureau 
chief Fred Coleman, with associated corre- 
spondents, investigated the state of sci- 
ence, medicine, and education in the U.S. 
and Russia, discovering that the U.S. 
remains technologically superior in each. 

"At Long Last, Love." October 24, pp. 
80-85. The phenomenon of reversed-age 
couples, long familiar in the older man/ 
younger woman relationship, is beginning 
to show an older woman/younger man trend. 


Arnold Bartini, Assistant Professor of 
English, has a lifelong interest in the 
work of Robert Frost. 

Robert Bence, Assistant Professor of 
History and Political Science, is a 
student of American public policy. 

Sarah Clarke is Head of the Circulation 
Department and Librarian of the Teacher 
Resources Center in the college library, 

Michael Haines, Assistant Professor of 
English, is a specialist in medieval 
literature and a freelance journalist. 

Charles A. Mclsaac is Director of Library 
Services . 

Ellen Schiff is Professor of French and 
Comparative Literature. Her particular 
interests are in contemporary drama and 
ethnic literature.